Oregon Beer News, 03/27/2013

Oregon BeerHere’s the news in Oregon beer for Wednesday the 27th of March. As usual, I’ll be periodically updating this post throughout the day with the latest news, so check back often for updates. And if you have news to share, please contact me and I can get that posted as well.

Belmont Station (Portland) is hosting a special beer tapping tonight from 6 to 9pm, the Celebrator Beer News 25th Anniversary Imperial Pale Ale, which was co-brewed by the Beer Goddess Lisa Morrison: “Last November, I got to go to camp! Sierra Nevada Beer Camp! I joined other Celebrator Beer News compatriots to design and brew a special beer to celebrate Celebrator’s 25th anniversary. (That’s a lot of celebratin’!) We decided to brew an amped up version of Sierra’s standard-setting Pale Ale by doubling the original SNPA recipe. We then added Cascade hops for tradition, Citras to celebrate the present and an experimental hop as a nod to the future (we are beer writers after all, and we love a good story). For brew details hit http://www.celebrator.com/beercamp/sierranevada/2013/”  This may well be the only keg of this beer in Portland and if you’re in town this is definitely the party to attend tonight!

McMenamins Old St. Francis School (Bend) is holding “Curly’s Firkin” limited-edition beer tasting tonight starting at 5pm, featuring Fireside Rumbler-(Rum n’ Oak Conditioned): “OSF’s popular Fireside Red, named after our Fireside Bar, is a version of traditional red ale.  Medium bodied with a semi-sweet malt flavor.  Mild and earthy hop flavor and aromas balance out the drink and leaves you with a somewhat dry finish yet not a lot of lingering bitterness.  This special Firkin keg has more than just our Fireside Red in it though!  An oak spiral was soaked in McMenamins Three Rocks Rum for over a week and then added to the Firkin keg. The somewhat dry finish also has a wood/oak flavor as well as hints of vanilla and rum sweetness.  Come try this one of a kind keg and rumble on through a pint!  Cheers!”  The beer is on cask which should be delicious! And once it’s gone, it’s gone.

Widmer Brothers (Portland) is launching a new year round beer to its core line-up: Alchemy Ale, which is also replacing Drifter Pale Ale according to the New School. That notwithstanding, what’s interesting is that this is using Widmer’s proprietary “Alchemy” blend of hops, which is to me an interesting concept: “Alchemy hops are a blend of choice hops from the Pacific Northwest, hand-selected by Widmer Brothers brewers each year. After the annual selection of hops, they are blended during the pelletization process which creates a unique, blended pelletized hop exclusively for Widmer Brothers Brewing. This secret blend is the backbone for all Widmer Brothers beers and the magic behind Alchemy Ale.”  I’ve heard of blending beer for consistency, but I find this blending of hop varieties to “manage variances in hop crops from year to year” (quoting Brewmaster Joe Casey from the press release) fascinating, and I’m looking forward to trying this new beer.

Omission Beer (Portland, a division of Widmer actually) is launching a new gluten-free IPA to join their lineup of Pale and Lager beers; I don’t know (yet) when the beer will hit the market but given the popularity of gluten-free beers these days I imagine an IPA will make quite a splash (particularly if it’s good!).

McMenamins Cornelius Pass Roadhouse (Hillsboro) is holding their “Roadhouse Stout Fest” limited edition tasting tonight starting at 6pm. They are featuring three stouts to try: Oatmeal Double Stout, Irish Whiskey Stout (“We have aged a keg of our delicious McMenamins Irish Stout with oak spirals soaked in Jameson Irish Whiskey”), and Boomstick Stout.

And over at McMenamins Highland Pub & Brewery (Gresham) they have their own limited edition tasting kicking off at 5pm featuring Euro Wheat with Tequila-Infused Oak Spirals: “Highland brewer Dan Black produced this unique wheat ale using half premium 2-row and half white malted wheat.  A small pinch of Nugget hop cones were added for a mild bitterness which provides balance to the proceedings.  London Ale Yeast was used to impart an old-world European flavor profile.  Medium-bodied oak spirals were then infused with tequila and added to a keg of the resulting Euro Wheat.  A conditioning which added subtle flavors of oak, vanilla and a hint of tequila.  Enjoy!”  Yum!